The Law Tree

Edition 69

In June, summer temperature dipped due to welcome showers in the country. The nation also witnessed a dip in the overall Covid cases across the country. The Indian government announced that 25% of the vaccination in all States would be handled by the Central government and free vaccinations would be provided to citizens in the age group of 18-44 years. We bring to you some heart-warming, incredible stories from the ordinary man’s extra ordinary acts of kindness in fighting the virus. A matter of pride. Speaking of pride, June is the “Pride month”. A month of pride for the LGBTQIA community to affirm their dignity, equality and increased societal acceptance across the world.

Covid Combat

Hope: The Super Spreader

In April 2021, a physically challenged man who earned a living rolling beedis contributed Rs. 2 lakhs out of his total savings of Rs. 2,00,850. He took part in a crowd funding initiative organized by the Kerala government to provide free vaccinations to people under 45. 

In May 2021, even as Covid 2.0 ravaged India, patients were getting to hospitals on two wheelers due to inability to access ambulances. Professional biker brothers from Bangalore – Murthaza Junaid and Mutheeb Zoheb turned into ambulance drivers. Having travelled India and other countries including in high altitudes, the brothers were trained in evacuation. They put their biking passion and experience to use in real time situation saving many lives during the pandemic.

When a primary health care centre in Kerala received an SOS call from a tribal community living in the Attapadi forest, a team of doctors immediately set off. Traversing the path was not easy as they had to cross the Bhavani river by foot. They waded through high levels of water and eventually reached the hamlet. They tested and found covid positive patients and immediately moved them to the hospital.

Tariq Ahmad Patloo, a boatman in Srinagar turned his boat into a floating ambulance on the Dal Lake. Complete with stretcher, wheel chair and PPE kit. As a Covid survivor himself, he faced stigma and apathy even from his community members refused to offer help in dire covid situation. This was his way of trying to remove the stigma attached to Covid.

Deputy Superintendent of Police, Shilpa Sahu, was posted in the Dantewada area. The pregnant cop is out on the roads appealing to people and creating awareness about Covid. Putting her unborn child and herself at risk, the lady displayed exemplary call of duty rising beyond her personal challenges to value add to the society.


MTA : The Tenets of Tenancy

In 2019, the Ministry of Housing and Urban affairs (MOHUA) proposed the draft Model Tenancy Act (MTA) with the objective of regulating rental housing and striking a balance between the interests, rights and obligations of landlord and tenant.

On 2nd June 2021, the Central government approved the draft MTA for circulation to all States and Union territories. They could entirely adopt the MTA or suitably modify their existing rental laws.

What's Brewing

What’s up! What’s App?

In February 2021, the Central government introduced the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021. While welcoming all social media and OTT platforms to do business in India, the government reiterated that users they have right to criticize, raise questions and seek answers through these platforms. However, such social media platforms would be subject to scrutiny and regulation under the Media Ethics Code, 2021.

Circulars & Notifications

Learn about this month’s circulars and notifications brought out by the MCA, FEMA, SEBI & RBI.

May 05, 2021
Priority Sector Lending (PSL) - On-lending by Small Finance Banks (SFBs) to NBFC-MFIs

May 05, 2021
Utilisation of Floating Provisions/Counter Cyclical Provisioning Buffer

May 05, 2021
Periodic Updation of KYC – Restrictions on Account Operations for Non-compliance

May 05, 2021
Credit to MSME Entrepreneurs

May 05, 2021
Resolution Framework – 2.0: Resolution of Covid-19 related stress of Individuals and Small Businesses

May 05, 2021
Resolution Framework 2.0 – Resolution of Covid-19 related stress of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)

May 06, 2021
Exclusion of “Lakshmi Vilas Bank Ltd” from the Second Schedule to the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934

May 06, 2021
Exim Bank's Government of India supported Line of Credit (LoC) of USD 7.35 million to the Government of the Republic of Nicaragua

May 10, 2021
Amendment to the Master Direction (MD) on KYC

May 10, 2021
Government Agency Business Arrangement – Appointment of Scheduled Private Sector Banks as Agency Banks of Reserve Bank of India (RBI)

May 11, 2021
Banking Regulation Act, 1949 – Section 26A Depositor Education and Awareness Fund Scheme, 2014 – Interest rates payable on unclaimed interest bearing deposit

May 12, 2021
Sponsor Contribution to an AIF set up in Overseas Jurisdiction, including IFSCs

May 14, 2021
Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme (SGB) 2021-22- Series I/II/III/IV/V/VI

May 19, 2021
Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPIs) – (i) Mandating Interoperability; (ii) Increasing the Limit to ₹2 lakh for Full-KYC PPIs; and (iii) Permitting Cash Withdrawal from Full-KYC PPIs of Non-Bank PPI Issuers

May 21, 2021
Relaxation in timeline for compliance with various payment system requirements

May 24, 2021
Amalgamation of District Central Co-operative Banks (DCCBs) with the State Co-operative Bank (StCB) - Guidelines

May 27, 2021
Formation of new district in the State of Karnataka - Assignment of Lead Bank Responsibility

May 31, 2021
Investment by Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPI) in Government Securities: Medium Term Framework (MTF)

May 31, 2021
Customer Due Diligence for transactions in Virtual Currencies (VC)


The Verdict

Conflicting Views by Tribunals

In February 2021, the Kochi Bench of NCLT Kerala passed an order for admitting an application filed by the operational creditor under the IBC. In the course of the hearing, the Kochi Bench made observations relating to admitting cases where default was less than INR 1 crore as per the Notification dated 24th March 2020.

The stand taken by the Kochi Bench is in contrast to the stand taken on the same issue by the Delhi Bench and Chennai Benches of the NCLT. A look at the facts and findings in the case.

Protecting the Rights of the LGBTQI+ Community

Across the world, the month of June is seen as the ‘Pride month’ which is dedicated to the struggles and discrimination faced by the LGBTQI+ community. It is originated from the U.S. laying roots in the Stonewall Riots of 1969. These riots were held in aftermath of a raid conducted by the Police on the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village which is popular for gay men and is one of the places allowing gay people to dance. Further, police even made 13 arrests. As a result of the raid, several demonstrations were held by the LGBTQI+ community in and around New York which eventually turned out into a hostile condition occasioning a situation of riot.

Go Figure

Crime Against Women in India

Crimes against women range from outraging modesty, acid attacks, cyber-crimes to assault, rape, kidnapping and murder. The statistics are worrying.  

Women in Corporate Boardrooms:
What does the Trend Show?

Typically, a corporate boardroom has always been dominated by men. The culture of male domination within the corporate board meetings is a prevalent practice laying root in the patriarchal notion of society. The boardroom can be understood as a special category of individuals who form a board which in turn is responsible for taking managerial decisions in the interest and the welfare of the company. So, these boards and the boardroom meetings tend to streamline the key issues of the company that require attention and through which the company can decide the future course of operation. Statistically, it has been held that 82% of seats in the Boardroom are held by men with only a 1% increase every year in the seats of women within the board.

Faint pleader

A fraudulent, false, or collusive manner of pleading to the deception of a third person

Hidden asset

Asset carried on books at a substantially reduced or understated value; its market value being greater than its book value

General assignment for benefit of creditors

A transfer of legal and equitable title to all debator’s property to trustee, with authority to liquidate debtor’s affairs and distribute proceeds equitably to creditors

Election by Spouse

Statutory provision that a surviving spouse may chose as between taking that which is provided for her in her husbands will, claiming dower or taking her statutorily prescribed share. Such election may be presented if the will leaves the spouse less than she would otherwise receive by statute.This election may also be taken if the spouse seeks to set aside a will which contains a provision to the effect that an attempt to contact the will defeats the rights of one to take under the will


The Bank for Infrastructure Financing

The National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development Bill, 2021 seeks to establish a National Bank as the principal development financial institution (DFIs) for infrastructure financing in order to provide long-term finance to infrastructure sector where the risk involved is very high.


Important legal and other news having a bearing on society depicted in a fun quirky way!

Till death do us (A)part?!

Wife not entitled to insurance money if not contributed by deceased husband

Least but last

Arrest should be last option for Police

Your regular dose of a movie, TV show and a book all based on law to keep you entertained and thinking at the same time!

The Whole Truth (2016)

An American legal thriller, the movie boasts of a talented cast – Keanu Reeves, Renee Zellweger, Gabriel Basso and Jim Belushi.  

Keanu Reeves plays the role of defense attorney Richard Ramsay. He is working on the case of a 17-year-old boy Mike Lassiter who is on trial for the alleged murder of his lawyer father – Boone Lassiter (Jim Belushi). Boone and Ramsay are professional friends. Ramsay hires a young lawyer Janella Brady to help him handle the case and Mike who remains silent from after the murder. As the trial commences, it looks like an open and shut case. From neighbours who see the father and son regularly to an attendant on the flight the duo took, all of them confirm of strained relationship between father and son. Mike’s mother Loretta shares disturbing details of long term physical and emotional abuse from her husband Boone. He abused her on the day of his death as well. When she steps out of the shower, she sees Boone’s dead body and Mike confesses he killed his father. When Mike finally decides to talk, he states in the open court room that he killed his father. He says he killed Boone to protect his mother from abuse and states he himself was sexually abused by Boone since childhood. All witnesses are re-examined. Yet the Court acquits Mike due to lack of evidence. Before leaving the Courtroom Mike and Ramsay have a discussion. Ramsay knows the truth. 


Confessions of an Innocent Man
by David R Dow (2019)

The debut novel of Lawyer cum Professor David R Dow, the novel is a fictional take on the very real issue of wrongful convictions by the justice system. 

Rafael Zhettah is a Mexican –American chef cum owner of a restaurant in Houston. He is also a passionate pilot. A content bachelor who loves his job and enjoys life. He ends up meeting the love of his life in his own restaurant. But their romance is short lived as she is murdered. Almost immediately, Rafael is convicted and sentenced to death. Rafael knows he is absolutely innocent and yet staring at death for a crime he did not commit. After 6 years and an over looked DNA result, he is released from prison. He vows to use his regained freedom to take revenge on the real perpetrators including the justice system. How he achieves this forms the rest of the story. A gripping page turner. 

The author himself who specializes in death penalty laws has dedicated his life to fight against death penalty and the rigid justice system that blurs discrimination between criminals and innocent people. David is the founder of “Texas innocence network” which deals with cases of freeing innocent inmates. He also founded the Juvenile and Capital Advocacy Project which ensures fair legal representation for juveniles.

TV Series

Made in Jersey (2012)

In a total of 8 episodes aired between September and December 2012, the TV series showcases the professional journey of Martina Garretti, a street wise lawyer born into an Italian –American working class family. When she lands a job in a posh New York Law firm, she has work her way through perception and scepticism to be taken seriously at a job she is very good in.

Law and Justice are not always the same – Gloria Steinem

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